Workaholism vs. Work Engagement: the Two Different Predictors of Future Well-being and Performance
- 1.9k Downloads
This study investigated the distinctiveness of two types of heavy work investment (i.e., workaholism and work engagement) by examining their 2-year longitudinal relationships with employee well-being and job performance. Based on a previous cross-sectional study by Shimazu and Schaufeli (Ind Health 47:495–502, 2009) and a shorter term longitudinal study by Shimazu et al. (Ind Health 50:316–21, 2012; measurement interval = 7 months), we predicted that workaholism predicts long-term future unwell-being (i.e., high ill-health and low life satisfaction) and poor job performance, whereas work engagement predicts future well-being (i.e., low ill-health and high life satisfaction) and superior job performance.
A two-wave survey was conducted among employees from one Japanese company, and valid data from 1,196 employees was analyzed using structural equation modeling. T1–T2 changes in ill-health, life satisfaction, and job performance were measured as residual scores, which were included in the structural equation model.
Workaholism and work engagement were weakly and positively related to each other. In addition, and as expected, workaholism was related to an increase in ill-health and to a decrease in life satisfaction. In contrast, and also as expected, work engagement was related to increases in both life satisfaction and job performance and to a decrease in ill-health.
Although workaholism and work engagement are weakly positively related, they constitute two different concepts. More specifically, workaholism has negative consequences across an extended period of 2 years, whereas work engagement has positive consequences in terms of well-being and performance. Hence, workaholism should be prevented and work engagement should be stimulated.
KeywordsHard work investment Job performance Physical complaints Psychological distress Workaholism Work engagement
- 2.Kanai A. Economic and employment conditions, Karoshi (work to death) and the trend of studies on workaholism in Japan. In: Burke R, editor. Research companion to working time and work addiction. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar; 2007. p. 158–72.Google Scholar
- 5.Schaufeli WB, Taris TW, Bakker AB. Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde? On the differences between work engagement and workaholism. In: Burke RJ, editor. Research companion to working time and work addiction. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar; 2006. p. 193–217.Google Scholar
- 6.Schaufeli WB, Taris TW, Bakker AB. It takes two to tango. Workaholism is working excessively and working compulsively. In: Burke RJ, Cooper CL, editors. The long work hours culture. Causes, consequences and choices. Bingley: Emerald; 2008. p. 203–26.Google Scholar
- 9.Bakker AB, Oerlemans W. Subjective well-being in organizations. In: Cameron KS, Spreitzer GM, editors. The oxford handbook of positive organizational scholarship. New York: Oxford University; 2011. p. 178–89.Google Scholar
- 11.Dwyer JE. Statistical models for the social and behavioral sciences. New York: Oxford University; 1983.Google Scholar
- 15.Shimomitsu T, Yokoyama K, Ono Y, Maruta T, Tanigawa T. Development of a novel brief job stress questionnaire. In: Kato S, editor. Report of the research grant for the prevention of work-related diseases from the Ministry of Labour. Tokyo: Ministry of Labour; 1998. p. 107–15.Google Scholar
- 17.Williams LJ, Anderson SE. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment as predictors of organizational citizenship and in-role behaviors. J Manage. 1991;17:601–17.Google Scholar
- 22.Taris TW, Schaufeli WB, Shimazu A. The push and pull of work: the differences between workaholism and work engagement. In: Bakker AB, Leiter MP, editors. Work engagement: recent developments in theory and research. New York: Psychology; 2010. p. 39–53.Google Scholar